Angmering boy Charlie Fielding has been through a lot in his little life and now, has he goes through chemotherapy, he has a special new friend to share his journey.
Charlie, four, lost the use of his legs just over a year ago and was diagnosed with a spinal injury, so he uses a wheelchair.
A few months ago, two days before his birthday, he was diagnosed with leukaemia and started treatment at Southampton Hospital.
Searching for support online, his mum Becky came across Give A Duck, a UK children’s cancer charity, and joined the Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, which encourages healing through the power of play therapy.
Charlie was sent a Chemo Duck, is a soft, cuddly companion created to provide huggable hope and alleviate fear and anxiety.
Becky said: “Charlie was so excited when he received Chemo Duck in the post, now affectionately known as Ducky.
“Ducky comes to all our hospital appointments and the nurses have been very good at making sure if Charlie is struggling with his meds that Ducky also gets meds.
“Charlie has also spent time himself cleaning Ducky’s wiggly and checking his temperature and giving him medicine and he’s been great to cuddle when Charlie has been feeling fed up.
“I’m so pleased I came across Give A Duck, all hospitals should use the scheme, especially for the little ones, because not only has he been useful in helping to explain things to Charlie, he is also a comfort. We are grateful and chuffed that Chemo Duck is now part of our journey.”
Based in Wakefield, the charity aims to deliver a duck to every child diagnosed with cancer in the UK and since September 2018, it has increased its support to the principal treatment centres by 50 per cent.
Eve Corry, charity development director, said: “We provide stock of the Chemo Duck Program to the hospital play specialists at the UK principal treatment centres, who then distribute them out to the families and although we support the majority of these centres, there are a few centres who currently don’t receive our support.
“It’s wonderful to see Charlie with Ducky together and to know that we have provided a little happiness and comfort to Charlie and his family.
“We are keen to grow the charity support in the south of England so that we can continue to support families like Charlie’s.”
For more information please visit www.giveaduck.org.uk